2

This is the sentence I'm writing

The system requires a stiff solver and appropriate ______, such as the Jacobian Matrix Pattern

I've been thinking of workarounds, but the example given is not something that avoids the problem or finds an alternate solution, but it helps in solving the original problem, making it much faster. They are not needed, but they help a great deal. Also Pattern is not the only one of these.

devices does not sound right either, because it evokes a physical object.

Maybe aids, but it is more related to people or humanitarian causes.

Is there a single word to express a group of (non-physical) things that help you reach a solution?

  • Method? Approach? Model? What is a "Jacobian Matrix Pattern"? And why not just call it a, well, pattern? You listed a few words that don't work, but forgot to specify what it is that you are after. It's hard to tell you how to best express something without knowing what it is you are trying to express. – RegDwigнt Jul 14 '15 at 8:49
  • 1
    tools is another possibility. This is often used metaphorically to refer to methods rather than physical tools. – Barmar Jul 14 '15 at 8:51
  • @RegDwigнt I tried to clarify the question. Is it better? Thank you for your suggestions, but I have used them before in other contexts and I do not want to confuse people. – laureapresa Jul 14 '15 at 8:56
  • @Barmar - +1 for 'tool'. Couldn't be better. A tool is something that helps you get the job done but doesn't do it all by itself. – chasly from UK Jul 14 '15 at 9:03
3

The word tool is often used metaphorically to refer to methods and software. For instance, a word processor is a common tool of writers and editors. And the Socratic Method is a tool employed by teachers.

See these definitions in ODO:

1.1 A thing used in an occupation or pursuit:
computers are an essential tool
the ability to write clearly is a tool of the trade

1.3 Computing: A piece of software that carries out a particular function, typically creating or modifying another program.

  • I'm going to add "numerical" so it is clear what I am talking about, but tool is definitely the best option. Thank you very much! – laureapresa Jul 14 '15 at 20:53
3

Although you have discounted it, I do think that device would work well here, perhaps with a qualifying, attributive adjective.

Likewise, I think that, whilst tool is used more commonly used in such circumstances, aid is also appropriate and would convey your meaning clearly.

The system requires a stiff solver and appropriate algorithmic device, such as the Jacobian Matrix Pattern.

A numerical device such as the Jacobian Matrix Pattern greatly assists in solving the problem.

An appropriate algorithmic device, such as the Jacobian Matrix Pattern, is an invaluable aid for computing the solution.

  • 1
    I think tool is the best and easiest answer. I will add "numerical" from your suggestions to specify the type of tools. +1! – laureapresa Jul 14 '15 at 20:48
1

Might you consider using an adverb more specific to the function you are trying to describe? Perhaps "appropriate" is slightly too non-specific. However, if that is the word which suits your fancy, I might consider "application" to fill in your blank for these three reasons:

  1. A little alliteration never hurts to smooth over awkward meanings in sentences because the reader's creativity gets engaged. Literary devices are a "stuck" writer's best friend.
  2. The term "application" implies a quality of particularity, although it also leaves room for a broader sense of usage.
  3. "Application" also seems to fit your conditional clause here:

"...it helps in solving the original problem, making it much faster. They are not needed, but they help a great deal."

Best of luck! I look forward to reading your outcome. =)

  • What I did was activate or deactivate some of the options in the solver, toggled parameters, provided variables and matrices that sped up the solution. I have the feeling application is something more complex than the... tools I implemented. +1 though! – laureapresa Jul 14 '15 at 20:52
  • 1
    Ahhh. Thank you so much for the update and plus one! I'm glad you got your word. =) – Kristin Drysdale Jul 15 '15 at 22:15
0

How about "process"? (from Webster: a series of actions that lead to a particular result)

0

I'd suggest troubleshooter. I was surprised to discover that it apparently describes a person, according to Merriam-Webster.

However, I think I've seen it applied to non-human entities. Check out Wikipedia's article "Troubleshooting" for more information.

On Edit: On second thought, I guess troubleshooting isn't exactly the same as problem solving, so this probably won't work. How about analyzer?

0

The system requires a stiff solver and appropriate models, such as the Jacobian Matrix Pattern.

  • (n), a hypothetical description of a complex entity or process
  • I can't use model because the system is the solution of a model; I do not want to repeat myself and do not want to confuse the reader. Thank you though! – laureapresa Jul 14 '15 at 20:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.